What’s the perfect marriage between the ‘sweet tooth’ and a caffeine junkie? A caffeinated candy that keeps you going, even without your morning cup of joe.
Introducing ‘Cherry Bomb’, an invention by the makers at The Caffeine Co. that satisfies that craving for an energizing boost. We reached out to the owners, Josh and Harry, to find out more about this amazing product, how they came up with the idea, and how they manage running a startup as millennial entrepreneurs.
An Interview with the Caffeine Candy Makers at The Caffeine Co.
TrueToast: Hi Harry and Josh! Thank you for taking the time to interview with TrueToast Magazine! Can you tell us a bit more about who you are and why you started The Caffeine Co.?
Josh and Harry: We are both students at the University of York studying History and Law, respectively. We started The Caffeine Co. as a response to a lack of alternatives to the monogamous selection of caffeinated products. We discovered that some 99% of caffeine consumed is as coffee, soft drinks and tea. This suggested one of two things.: either there is little demand for other forms of caffeine, or there is a lack of viable options. After some market research we soon found the latter to be true. People wanted something different to caffeinated beverages or pills, but we couldn’t find any worthwhile alternatives. Thus, The Caffeine Co. was formed. Our mission is to develop new and innovative products that will ultimately revolutionize the way people consume caffeine.
TrueToast: What’s all the buzz about caffeine? Why do you think caffeine sweets are the thing of the future?
Josh and Harry: Caffeine has become a staple part of almost every working adult’s day, and yet it is almost impossible to find a way of ingesting it other than through coffee and energy drinks. People want ways to easily regulate their caffeine intake and want products that are more enjoyable than the sickly sweet taste of an energy drink or the hours of bad breath that come with a cup of coffee. Our Cherry Bomb sweets satisfy both of these desires; with around 50mg of caffeine per sweet (roughly the same as an instant coffee), consumers can decide how much caffeine to have over the course of the day without compromising on the taste of what they are eating.
Cherry Bomb can be eaten at home, in the office, on a bus, or even whilst running or cycling. We at The Caffeine Co. think that caffeine is something to be enjoyed, and our sweets are the best way to do this.
TrueToast: How did you come to create the “Cherry Bomb”?
Josh and Harry: Our original idea was actually to make caffeinated lollipops, and the company was initially called Non Stop Lollipop. However, we found that it was going to be virtually impossible to produce lollipops as the production costs were incredibly high per unit, so we went for a necessary rebranding and became The Caffeine Co. To go with the new brand, we needed an idea for a product that would perfectly represent everything that we stood for, and after much design and development we eventually came up with Cherry Bomb.
We are immensely proud of our first product as it gives consumers everything that we think a caffeinated sweet should give – its convenient, tasty, easy to regulate and, most importantly, good value. We don’t want to charge people £3.29 a day for a lukewarm instant coffee, we want to give people the opportunity to stay caffeinated throughout the day without breaking the bank.
TrueToast: This is clearly a unique idea! Did you face any reservations before launching your business?
Josh and Harry: When we realiszd that the Non Stop Lollipop wasn’t going to work, we were worried that although our idea definitely had potential to break into the caffeine market, we weren’t rich or established enough to be the ones to develop the products. Minimum order quantities for any sweets that we wanted to develop were always hundreds of kilograms, and we couldn’t afford to buy this much of what would effectively be a sample, especially as we are running it all on a student budget!
However, we were fortunate enough to stumble upon a fantastic confectionery maker who was as keen on the idea as we are and we were able to develop a small enough sample to allow us to test the market.
“One thing that we have learned is that you should never allow your financial situation to put you off trying, if you have an idea and it is good then it will always find a way.”
TrueToast: What kind of feedback have you received along the way, and how does it continue to drive your business?
Josh and Harry: Initial responses to both the concept and to Cherry Bomb have been very positive so far. There was a strong demand for a caffeinated product that was easy to eat and free of the stigma that comes with caffeine pills. Our market research also suggested that cherry flavouring was a very popular choice, and so we chose to start with this in order to appeal to as wide a market as possible. So far everyone we have spoken to has been keen on the taste of the sweets and we have had lots of people asking about what is coming next!
Feedback is vital to us at this stage and we value any comments that we receive about Cherry Bomb or the company as a whole. We are both learning how to run a business as we go and so rely on our feedback to tell us how we are doing.
TrueToast: What do you see The Caffeine Co achieving in 2018? What are your goals for the future?
Josh and Harry: In 2018 we will be taking on-board all the feedback we’ve received thus far to produce even better products. We will also be consolidating our brand with organic and paid marketing campaigns. We aim to grow substantially over 2018, reaching new markets and developing a full range of products to suit everyone’s taste. Our ideal situation this time next year would be to have a standing order with a wholesalers or major confectionery stockists and to have multiple products available on a shelf near you!
TrueToast: If you could go back and magically make 1 element of the business process easier, what would it be?
Josh and Harry: Funding is the main barrier to creating any product. It costs thousands upon thousands to refine a product to meet the tastes of an increasingly critical and competitive market, and that’s before you even consider marketing, development of new products and ensuring there is always a supply of your product available to the consume. Having better access to funding, investors and mentors from the very outset would have allowed us to concentrate on the important stuff: creating a kick-ass product.
TrueToast: What is your favorite marketing platform and why? How does it benefit The Caffeine Co?
Josh and Harry: We are particularly fond of using social media to market our brand. Social media allows you to post all sorts of mediums, from photos, to music or videos. Our Facebook page has been with us since the days of Non-Stop Lollipop, so our fans can see how our brand developed organically. Twitter is also great place to market a brand. Unlike other platforms, Twitter is much less formal and a lot more sincere. There is also a great community of creatives, entrepreneurs and other small businesses who are often keen to support one another.
TrueToast: What do you want our readers to know most about you and your brand?
Josh and Harry: We want readers to know just how passionate we really are about our brand and product. This is an idea that we both really believe in and we are confident that the company could be huge. The Caffeine Co. is here to revolutionize the way we consume caffeine, and we hope you will join us on the journey. If you’re interested in following our journey, make sure to follow our social media and keep an eye on our website for any exciting changes or developments.
Follow The Caffeine Co. to Find Out More
Be sure to follow Josh and Harry at The Caffeine Co. on social media to find out more about their business and what mazing new caffeine candy products they have in the works.
Have questions for Josh and Harry from The Caffeine Co.? Leave them in the comments below!